Yesterday I had a marathon day doing cut-outs. The one client contacted me last fall about doing a cut-out. There were 2 problems, I felt it was too late in the season for there to be a reasonable chance for the bees to recover in time and survive the winter, and they were 5 hours away
So I advised her to consider waiting until spring and try to find someone closer. We continued to communicate as she looked/talked to other beekeepers and then this spring she asked me if I was still interested. I told her if she was willing to pay the travel, I'd do it. Dring the process of getting pictures and setting up a date, her caretaker informed me she had another client who also had bees they wanted to have removed. So the plan was made to do them both in one trip. I was going to drive down and remove one the first day and remove the second and drive home the next.
Well yesterday I left at 5AM and arrived at the first place around 10:30AM. Of course it rained most of the way down and was cloud with mist/sprinkles most of the morning. The caretaker had set up the pump jacks and ladders so I got right to work hoping to beat a major rain storm.
Mice had gotten into them over the winter and ate some of the new comb that had honey on the ends. It had recently swarmed but the new queen was laying great. So ended up with a nice young feral queen. Finished about 3PM and decided to swing by the 2nd place and get a better idea of where the bees where actually residing.
Turns out they weren't in the wall as was suspected, but in the soffit of the porch. Once Igot them open, I figured I would continue as these bees were suppose to be meaner and the weather outlook for the next day wasn't good. So worked right up to dark using a flashlight. Had a few down pours and heavy fog set in as well, but there was no turning back. Actually both colonies where as gentle as could be. I only got stung twice (one thru a Nitrile glove) and both where my fault (pinched the bee).
This one had also swarmed and the new queen was also laying quite nicely.
Left there around 8PM and drove a good portion of the time in a major downpour and got home about 1AM. Just set the hives out in the yard and let them loose.
Although the weather wasn't too cooperative, I don't think I could have asked for it to go much better. I found and marked both queens and both are at least 2nd generation survivor.